The Mythique VRX is Vitus’s top-of-the-range, do-it-all trail bike.
Its angular aluminium tubes are rounded out with a well-chosen spec of solidly-performing parts, all for a reasonable price.
I tested the 29in-wheeled version, but it’s available with smaller 650b hoops, too.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX frame, suspension and geometry details
Made from 6061-T6 alloy, the Mythique frame has externally routed brake and gear cables on the top side of the down tube, with an entry port in the seat tube for the dropper post cable.
It has water bottle mounts on the inside of the down tube, and there’s a stick-on, ribbed chain slap protector on the chainstay. It’s got a 73mm threaded bottom bracket and has a 148x12mm Boost rear axle.
At the rear, it sports 140mm of travel, controlled via a Horst-link four-bar linkage.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX details
- Tough treads: Tyres can make or break a bike. Fortunately, the Schwalbes on the Mythique are top performers and really add to its performance
- Super sus: The front and rear suspension is really supple and very well balanced, which makes the bike easier to ride fast
- Travel troubles: A dropper post is fitted, but riders with longer legs may find its 150mm of travel isn’t quite enough on steep downhills
With a steep head-tube angle of 66.07 degrees, 462.13mm reach (size large), and average effective seat-tube angle at 75.61 degrees, the Mythique’s geometry is aimed at balancing the needs of beginners and more experienced riders.
|Seat angle (degrees)||75.85||75.73||75.61||75.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||66.05||66.06||66.07||66.08|
|Seat tube (mm)||395||433||470||510|
|Top tube (mm)||581.33||602.83||624.34||650.85|
|Head tube (mm)||110||120||130||140|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||28.55||28.61||28.67||28.74|
It has a lengthy 445mm chainstay (that’s constant across the bike’s range of sizes), and a 1,222.25mm wheelbase that should help balance out the fairly steep head-tube angle.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX specifications
When it comes to spec, up-front there’s an air-sprung Marzocchi Bomber Z2 fork (due to Coronavirus stock issues, our test bike was fitted with a black fork rather than a red one, normally specced). It shares its chassis with the Fox 34 (except for a few aesthetic changes) but gets its own Rail damper that has similarities to Fox’s GRIP version.
It’s matched with a RockShox Monarch R shock, which is trunnion-mounted (the bolt connecting it to the rocker link goes straight through the shock body).
Drivetrain duties are taken care of thanks to a mix of Shimano’s 12-speed Deore M6100 kit – that includes the crankset, cassette, chain and shifter – and an SLX M7100 rear derailleur. It has WTB ST i30 rims built on Vitus hubs, wrapped in Schwalbe rubber.
It’s fitted with a Brand-X Ascend dropper post with 150mm travel, and has Shimano MT501 disc brakes with 180mm rotors. The rest of the kit is taken care of by CRC house-brand Nukeproof, including the Neutron V2 handlebar, Neutron saddle and Neutron stem.
Vitus Mythique 29 VRX ride impressions
The pronounced kink in the Mythique’s seat tube means that the higher you raise the saddle, the slacker the effective seat-tube angle becomes.
My seated pedalling position was much further back on the Vitus than on bikes such as the Marin Rift Zone 29 and Boardman MTR 8.9.
While not an issue on undulating trails, on steep climbs we found it a constant battle to stay central enough on the bike.
As the gradient increased, it was a struggle to keep the front wheel on the ground while stopping the rear from spinning out due to lack of traction.
Sliding the saddle forward and nosing it down helped a bit, as did lowering the bar, although this made the bike less comfy on flatter sections and harder to control on descents.
The rear suspension was fluttery and smooth over trail chatter, especially when pedalling seated, and was combined with a fork that has great off-the-top sensitivity. This made the Mythique great to ride around rough singletracks and worn trail centre loops.
Despite the plushness, the bike only dipped into its travel under pedalling when I was cranking standing up.
Pointing downhill, the Mythique’s suspension felt great, especially in its mid-stroke, where there was plenty of support that made generating speed easy and fun around turns or through compressions. It felt good on take-offs, too, where there was loads of pop. This mid- and end-stroke compression was complemented by excellent suppleness on small bumps, helping to create loads of grip and comfort.
The Marzocchi fork is well-matched to the back end, with great small-bump sensitivity and no compression or rebound spike, which the RockShox forks on the other bikes here suffered from.
There’s enough mid-stroke and bottom-out resistance without having to add volume spacers.
On tighter turns and lower speeds, the Mythique was a blast to wrangle around, responding well to subtle but quick changes in weight and direction. Sections with successive, snappy turns were a true joy to ride, and the bike quite happily unweighted between each turn, its suspension then loading up into the apex ready to rebound into the next.
However, on high-speed straights, the Mythique isn’t as stable as others.
I felt that I wanted to lean back to compensate for the short reach and steep head angle, unweighting the front wheel, essentially doing the opposite of what you’re supposed to.
It was the same story on steep trails, where I wanted to weight the front wheel for more grip but was unable to for fear of the front-end tucking in turns. A longer reach figure and slacker head angle would improve the Mythique vastly.
The Schwalbe tyres – especially the soft-compound Magic Mary on the front – were brilliant across all the trail types and conditions I could find. Some may argue they’re a bit aggressive for light trail riding, but the extra gip they afford is worth it.
The dropper post didn’t have quite enough travel to comfortably descend out of the way without needing manual adjustment when tackling steep trails, although this wasn’t a problem on flatter trails. The brakes had plenty of bite, even on prolonged descents. Vitus’s in-built, ribbed chainstay protection did a great job of eliminating chain slap.
The Mythique isn’t perfect, but it strikes an impressive compromise between weight, stiffness, comfort and, importantly, spec. It’s a great package and will suit people looking to razz around trail centres and dabble in slightly more technical terrain. It does have its limits – mostly its geometry – and no number of upgrades are going to compensate for this.
How we tested
We put three great-value full-sus trail bikes to the test to find out which one is most deserving of your cash.
Each bike was tested on the varied trails and tracks of Scotland’s Tweed Valley, ranging from trail centre loops at Glentress, and bridleway bashing on the Southern Upland Way, through to the more extreme descents in Innerleithen during a range of weather conditions.
Also on test
|Price||AUD $3300.00EUR €2550.00GBP £1800.00USD $2200.00|
|Weight||14.8kg (L) – without pedals|
|Available sizes||S, M, L, XL|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Magic Mary E-25 Addix Soft 29x2.35in (f), Schwalbe Hans Dampf Performance Addix 29x2.35in (r)|
|Stem||Nukeproof Neutron, 45mm|
|Seatpost||Brand-X Ascend 150mm dropper|
|Rear Shocks||RockShox Monarch R|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano SLX (1x12)|
|Handlebar||Nukeproof Neutron V2, 780mm|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano BSA|
|Frame||6061-T6 aluminium alloy, 140mm (5.5in) travel|
|Fork||Marzocchi Bomber Z2, 140mm (5.5in) travel|
|Cranks||Shimano Deore, 30t|
|Cassette||Shimano Deore, 10-51t|
|Brakes||Shimano MT501, 180mm rotors|
|Wheels||WTB ST i30 rims on Vitus hubs|